BERRY-SPECIAL FRENCH TOAST

Berry French Toast

We just celebrated another anniversary. It has been 11 years of growth, sacrifice, joy, laughter, selflessness, gratefulness, fun, excitement, adventure, disappointment, forgiveness, hope, unconditional love, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am so grateful for all of God’s provisions, wisdom, grace and unconditional love. I never knew how hard marriage could be and no one really warns you!

It’s ironic how we invest our time and money for our career, education, hobbies, and even working out. But we don’t think twice to do it for our marriages. My husband and I have always been intentional about growing in our marriage. We have spent the last few years with marriage mentors through our church and we are now a part of the marriage ministry called ReEngage. This was one of the best decisions we have made for our family. If you are looking to strengthen your marriage, save your marriage or even have the hope to save a marriage that is already over; this is the place to go. With God, all things are possible!

Anniversary Collage

To show my husband, how much I appreciate and love him, I wanted to make him a nice breakfast. He loooooooves a home-cooked meal, especially when I make it. I was anticipating a busy day with my business and homeschooling, so I wanted to make sure we started it off really special. So, the night before, I prepared a breakfast casserole to help save time since my husband gets up at the crack of dawn.

Originally, I was going to make my Pecan Banana French Toast Casserole, but I was out of bananas! Soooooo, my creative juices kicked in and here is what I created. He loves berries, so I knew this was going to be a hit!

Ingredients:

5 slices gluten free bread (I use Udi’s)

4 organic free-range eggs, beaten

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 ½ cups coconut milk

¼ cup of raw honey

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (I prefer the vanilla bean)

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/16 tsp. ground nutmeg

Coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

Topping:

1 cup pecans

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbs. coconut oil

1 Tbs. raw honey

Casserole Preparation:

Grease an 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.

Cube the bread into large pieces and place in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla and honey.

Add the cubed bread into the egg mixture and mix up really well.

Place in the refrigerator and let soak for at least an hour or even overnight.

While the bread is soaking, prepare the pecan topping.

Topping Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl.

Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 15 minutes, check at the 10 minute mark to stir them around for an even roast.

Store in an airtight container and keep at room temperature, if cooking the casserole the next day.

The next day or an hour later:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take casserole out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about 20 minutes. (I don’t like to go from cold to hot with a glass dish.)

Mix in the fruit and spread the pecan topping evenly over the top.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Done when knife comes out clean. Let it sit for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Bon appetite!

JOY IN YOUR JOURNEY

Joy In Your Journey

What is God’s calling for my life?

This is something I have been seeking for some time now. As I get older and closer to God, this question becomes even more of a priority in my life.

I’ve been doing a 21-Day fast with my church and my favorite part is how I hear God speak to me in such intimate ways. Whenever something “comes out of left field” and aligns biblically, I’ve always sensed the presence of God. Do you experience encounters like this with God? Today I was reading a devotion from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest book. He started out with this statement, “It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what He requires.” This message really hit home for me. I have always wanted to know my exact calling, right down to the details.

Wouldn’t it be exciting to know exactly what you were destined to do in this lifetime?

Wouldn’t it be empowering to know your vision and goals?

My holistic journey started over ten years ago. I have enjoyed every minute of it. My passion for educating people to live a more natural and health-giving life, is something I never grow tired of or find boring, ever. My biggest struggle throughout this journey is how to thread more of my faith and my passion for wellness into one. I have always looked at my health coaching business as a ministry, not a job. I truly desire to honor God, minister to others while teaching them about health and wellness.

Another part of the devotion that really spoke to me was the closing prayer. “O Lord, by Your grace open my vision to You and Your infinite horizons, and take me into Your counsels regarding Your work in this place.” I never even thought to pray this way. It seems so much deeper than some of my past prayers. To be able to glimpse at God’s infinite horizons and to have His grace open my vision, with those blessings the sky wouldn’t even be the limit!!!

I want to be walking in the will and path God has designed for my life. I don’t want to miss out on anything He has prepared for me and my family. I want to be a blessing to others, to edify and encourage them to have the most intentional and healthy lives! I know God desires for us to have so much more than we can even imagine. Now I’m just embracing how to get there!

Find joy in your journey, not just your destination.

“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24. I know God will bring joy into my life, especially when earnestly seeking Him for my calling and ministry. I know God designed me for a purpose, before I was even born. And I know He designed you for a special purpose. Do you know God’s calling for your life? I would love to hear about it!

I am excited for the plans God has in store for me and for you! Let’s make 2016 an intentional one!

So go find joy in your journey!

Believing in you,

Sonya

 

 

 

HOPE… MY WORD FOR THE COMING YEAR

HOPE

Over the course of the holiday season, God kept giving me a word to meditate on… hope. It’s a word that applies to all areas of my life. What is hope? What does it mean to you? I looked it up and here is what I found.

Hope: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true… 

And the full definition includes: to cherish a desire with anticipation, trust, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence.

Suddenly, a myriad of Bible versus came flooding into my mind. What a revelation! What a God-wink for me! I just love it when God speaks to me in such a loving way, and through a dictionary!

Hope is mentioned about 130 times in the NKJ version of the Bible. I guess God wanted to make sure we got the message. David and Job spoke so much of hope, and look how much each of them endured? The book of Proverbs speaks often of hope. And a favorite of many is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But the one scripture that truly stuck out for me was,

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Not only does God offer us hope, He offers us joy and peace in finding it.

I have to confess, I have always struggled with thinking positive, truly setting my mind free to live the life God has always wanted. Sometimes being shackled by the fear of the unknown or my failures. It’s always been such a fight. Sometimes, it’s so hard to believe God wants to bless me and use me for His glory. I constantly disappoint Him in my sin nature. Do you ever feel that way? Over the years, because of certain seasons in my life, I often wonder if our family will finally overcome financial burdens, health issues, relationship issues, ect…

I feel overwhelmed sometimes at the thought of even trying to overcome certain things. It can be exhausting.

Then God reminds me that I can’t do this all by myself. That’s why He sent His Son and then the Holy Spirit. I often mediate on the verse, 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” And then there’s 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” He never designed life to be that way for me or for anyone.

These promises give me hope!

I don’t have to do it by myself! I don’t have to carry these burdens! I am such a stubborn, independent and prideful person. Hmmm, maybe that’s why it has taken so long to hear His sweet message of hope for my life? This past year, I have sensed a new beginning in my life. And I know it starts spiritually, connecting with God like I have never done before.

By leaning and resting in Him, I am now achieving things (in small baby steps), I have never accomplished before.

Things aren’t happening overnight, but they are happening in a slow constant pace. I am so grateful and excited to see what God has in store for me and my family. I am excited to see how HE is going to use us for His glory.

As the new year approaches, where is your hope? Do you even have hope for the coming year? Your future? What are you excited about in the coming year? Would you like to share your hopes or struggles? Please feel free to share here or if you need prayer. I would love to pray for you! You are not alone 🙂

Love in Christ,

Sonya 

SAVOR THE MOMENT…

Savor The Moment

It seems like the older I get, the faster the time flies during the holiday season. Does anyone else feel this way? Lately I have been pondering over how I just want the time to slow down so I can make cookies with my son, visit friends and have more playdates with our kids, and do more holiday art projects to look back and remember. I would love to create more special recipes with holiday spices, take the time to write out Christmas cards, letting everyone know how special they are in our lives, make lists of things I need to do before Christmas, and even get that special gift for someone. Oh, and with all of that still have time to soak up the special moments of spending time with loved ones and did I mention we homeschool too?

I really want to be so intentional this holiday season. Doesn’t every mom aspire to do wonderful and memorable things for their families? I want to savor every moment and not be so stressed, like I have in the past. I did pretty good for Thanksgiving and really enjoyed myself. However, Christmas has totally caught me by surprise and I find myself scurrying around to keep up with our busy schedule. We still haven’t put up the decorations on our tree!

I woke up really early this morning with thoughts of how I could get a “jump start” on my day. Any moms out there get excited when this happens? 🙂 After completing my devotions, I threw some laundry in the washer and was thinking about the next few things on my list. Suddenly, I heard God’s still, sweet voice remind me to just savor the moments. Then this Bible verse came to mind and I just smiled. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

Don’t you just love it when God speaks to you at just the right time? I love how when I slow down, I can truly feel His presence. Why don’t I do this more often?

In hind sight, I now realize why my food processor and blender both broke in the same week! And right before Thanksgiving. I truly believe it was God’s intervention, answering my prayers. Now I get to spend more time with my husband and son, build more memories with them, instead of in the kitchen.

So this morning, I’m making a curry chicken in the slow cooker, and waiting for my son to wake up so we can spend the day together doing some random acts of kindness for others while we run some errands. Hey, maybe we will even pick up some Christmas cards! I will eventually get to everything on my list. My Blendtec replacement blender was shipped out this week, and hopefully I will get a new food processor for Christmas. Until then, I’m going to focus on building up my treasures in heaven, since this is where my heart truly longs to be…

I would love to hear how you are spending your holidays and savoring your own precious moments. Please share below in the comments! Merry Christmas and have a blessed holiday season!!!

BE FAITHFUL IN THE SMALL THINGS…

Luke 16-10

This verse really spoke to me this morning, while I had a mini pity party over something. It really convicted me, as I was reading through the book of John, to always be a shepard and not just a fisherman!! I sense and see God pruning and gleaning me to be a better leader. Not just in my business, but as a wife, mother, sister, friend and person. I am so grateful for the people He has strategically placed in my life. I am so grateful for the provisions He has made for my family. So be faithful my “framily”, for it is in the little things, God will show you greatness!!!! Oh, that’s a tweetable!!!!

What little things has God shown you? I would love to hear from you! Have a blessed weekend!

WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT IN THE COMING YEAR?

Christmas Family Pic

It is bitter-sweet that Christmas has come and gone this year. We have been traveling and spending quality time with close friends and family. What a blessing this has been for us. Bonding and building healthy memories with your loved ones, or even making amends are so integral in life. Did you know that your emotional needs are just as important as your nutritional needs? I refer to this as primary foods. I will be expounding on this in coming posts for you. Want to learn more about primary foods or nutritional coaching? Contact me for a complimentary consultation.

My husband and I are so excited in planning and implementing our vision plan for this coming year. I’m adding some activities for our son in our homeschooling schedule, my husband is expanding his business and I am working on a clean-eating cookbook for families. I will also be offering detox and essential oil classes to improve your health and well-being! I’m so blessed and excited in helping family’s live a more salubrious lifestyle!

So what are you planning or excited about in the coming year? Did you set any goals? Are you making little or exciting changes? Anything new and good that will be life-changing for you and your family? I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for letting me share this little part of your world in social media. It’s an honor to be here with you. I look forward in getting to know you better in the coming year!

Love In Christ,

Sonya

“It is more blessed to give than to receive…”

Christmas CrossThese are the words Luke quoted in the book of Acts. This year my husband and I are being intentional in teaching our son the true meaning of Christmas. So often, our world takes “Christ” out of Christmas.  Christmas is about celebrating and remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. While we love to shower our son with gifts, watch his eyes light up when we pick out our tree, and decorate the house with colorful and festive decorations; we want him to learn that it is better to give than to receive. We want to teach him the history of Christ.

So with that said, we are planning things we can do for others during this Christmas season. We are following the Advent calendar our church gave us to do family activities together. You can check out our church at www.gochristfellowship.com. This calendar helps us focus on the story of Christ and giving.

Another thing we are doing is called R.A.C.K. It is Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. My friend Karen kept posting her family’s acts of kindness throughout December and it really inspired me to do this with our son. I will share those moments with you in my blog! So watch for them here…

What kind of Christmas traditions and giving ideas do you do with your family? I would love to hear about them and share them with others!

I pray that you have a blessed and joyous Christmas season. I am so thankful for you and looking forward to a new healthy and inspirational year!

 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas and have a salubrious new year!

Sonya